A message from Israel

Until recently, playing Rugby was my livelihood.

I have had the honour and the privilege of representing my country on the sporting field, for which I will be forever grateful.

I am also a Christian. My faith is the most important thing in my life. I try to live my life according to the Bible and I believe it is my duty to share the word of God.

Earlier this year, I uploaded some messages from the Bible on my Instagram page.

I believe that sharing the Bible is an act of love and compassion.

I know some people do not like or believe in the Bible. Indeed, what makes our country so wonderful is that we have such a diverse community made up of so many different cultures and values. But my faith defines me as a person. I do not believe that it is fair or right that I be punished for my religious beliefs. 

Sadly, after I uploaded the messages from the Bible, my employers, Rugby Australia and Rugby NSW, tore up my employment contract. As a result, I have lost my job, my livelihood, and the ability to play for my country. It looks like I will never be allowed to play rugby in this country again.

I believe the termination of my contract is unlawful, which is why I have started legal proceedings against Rugby Australia and Rugby NSW.

In response, Rugby Australia have already said that they will “divert significant resources” to fight me in court.  Even if I win, Rugby Australia can appeal. There is every chance that a prominent test case like this could take years and eventually end up in the High Court of Australia.

My wife Maria and I have already spent over $100,000 of our own money, and that was just to try and deal with Rugby Australia’s internal tribunal processes.  

I know I am putting myself on the line – this action will be very costly in terms of time, money and reputation – but I do not intend to stop now. 

I would be very grateful for your support.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and God bless.

Israel